RaveAsian Review of Books... a bravura metaphysical rumination written in the form of a television screenplay ... Yu throws his stereotypes in all directions. Labels and pigeonholes abound, crossing both cultures and generations ... Yu freely weaves satire with social commentary, speculative fiction with identity politics. Without leaving its fantasy world, the story often turns bracingly real. Though much of his protagonist’s insecurities are narrowly focused—not just Asian, but specifically Asian American—his accumulation of concerns becomes surprisingly and relatably inclusive ... Yu also freely constructs discursive rambles that deftly conflate a simple image with, well, a finely rendered backstory.
Amanda Lee Koe
RaveAsian Review of BooksMuch of the known historical record weaves through Koe’s pages, which makes for an eclectic cast of secondary characters ... Koe handles conflicting female perspectives so well that, for many readers, gender may be her main point. Such a reading seems too limiting, though ... Koe’s characters are not merely different slices of America ... Ultimately, the novel’s greatest accomplishment is a masterful subversion of the Hollywood myth.
Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason
PositiveAsian Review of BooksHong Kong Noir...will surely raise the hackles of genre purists much as Hong Kong movies of the 1980s and ’90s initially did with filmgoers abroad ... The bones of this collection range from sturdy to creaking, but the best of its stories have the qualities of Hong Kong’s best films: first, exotic settings that shape and sometimes define the narrative, and second, an ongoing search for territorial identity compounded by its looming loss. On nearly every page is an angst-ridden concern for the future of Hong Kong not told with such focus since the city’s pre-handover cinema ... Hong Kong’s sparks come whenever two or more of its elements rub together. The stories here follow suit, whether in terms of culture...or genre ... Whether or not this is truly a noir volume, as far as the city itself is concerned, this collection represents Hong Kong to its very core.